Government agencies regularly issue Requests for Proposals (or RFPs) to offer private firms the opportunity to provide public services.

These documents are usually long and extensive–and might seem daunting to those who want to analyze the proposal.

  • Don’t sweat it–most of that legalese is boilerplate policies and rules. The heart of the RFP is usually buried in the document.

Some tips for analyzing the RFPs highlighted here:

  • First, review the table of contents to see how the document is organized
  • Read through the introduction that outlines the purpose of the RFP and what the agency is looking for
  • You might initially scan items, such as submission requirements, general information and policies, to get an understanding of all the requirements in the RFP; as you come to review more RFPs, you can skip over the boilerplate language
  • Check the evaluation criteria for the RFP as it reveals how each proposal will be judged by government officials
  • The heart of the RFP is in sections entitled Sample Contract, Statement of Work, Technical Exhibits and Specific Terms and Conditions; these sections provide the details of the public service that will be contracted to a private firm
  • Constantly question the RFP and apply your own experience in assessing the proposal
  • As you review the document, make comments in the comment section of the RFP page
  • If you have specific questions or concerns, write to us at or call our tip line at 888-734-8660.

Thank for you for helping improve the efficiency of providing quality public services.